Towing A Tiny House

Our tiny homes can be towed by a standard truck which you may already own or else rent for moving days. To prepare for towing, here are specifications about home weights and minimum tow vehicle requirements. Remember that your home should be titled, licensed and insured to tow legally as an RV.

Tumbleweed specifications

18' 20' 24' Mica
Dry Weight 8,000 8,800 10,500 10,000
GVWR 10,000 10,000 15,000 12,000
Personal Belongings Weight 2,000 1,200 4,500 2,000

Tumbleweed house weights vary by size for the "tree series" exteriors (Elm, Cypress, Linden) and differ for the modern Mica. Dry weight refers to the home and trailer combined weight. GVWR or gross vehicle weight rating refers to maximum allowable weight of the combined home, trailer and your personal items. Finally, Personal Belongings Weight identifies the maximum amount of your own items in the home, such as furnishings, clothes, food, etc.

Minimum vehicle towing requirements

18' 20' 24' Mica
Tow Capacity 10,000 10,800 15,000 12,000
Tongue Weight 800-1,485 880-1,485 1,050-2,250 1,000-1,800
Truck Size 3/4 Ton 3/4 Ton 1 Ton 3/4 Ton
Hitch Type Class V Class V Class V Class V
Compatible Ball Size 2-5/16"

Your towing truck must be street legal, have a trailer hitch and trailer brake controller. Truck capacity should be checked, as it varies by specific manufacturer and even model year. Tow capacity refers to the weight the truck can tow, which needs to meet or exceed the gross weight of the home. Tongue weight refers to weight carried by the hitch rather than the wheels of the trailer, and insufficient tongue weight is the primary reason it's difficult for 1/2 ton trucks to tow Tumbleweeds! The compatible ball size is 2-5/16" for all Tumbleweed house trailers.

What's a Class V hitch? This hitch size is rated to carry up to 17,000 lbs. gross weight with a tongue weight capacity of 1,700 lbs. Your ball mount and hitch ball need to both be rated for Class V, to safely tow our heavy Tumbleweeds.

Rental trucks available

For many tiny house movers, you will likely borrow or rent a 3/4 or 1 ton truck! Here's what Tumbleweed staff and customers have learned, using U-Haul as an example.

1. Get in touch with the U-Haul pickup location a few days in advance to coordinate the special towing situation.

2. Have them track down a U-Haul truck that can accommodate the 2-5/16" ball. (Older U-Haul trucks aren't equipped with a hitch receiver and only have a 2" ball welded to the bumper.)

3. Purchase an electronic brake controller and arrange for U-Haul to install it. Their 14 ft trucks are pre-wired for electric trailer brakes but the wires in the engine compartment need to be run through the dash and attached to a controller.

4. You don't need to buy any sort of adapter, as the 7 pin blade wiring on our Tumbleweed trailer plugs directly into a 14 ft U-Haul. (Please check on other length trucks.)

5. Be ready for really crummy gas mileage!  Typically you may expect between 8 and 12 MPG, from a 40-gallon tank. The rig tows without swaying at high speed on the interstate, and has good control moving slowly on snow and ice.

Insurance recommendations

Tumbleweed recommends that you insure your truck and Tumbleweed home before towing it. You may buy RV insurance from any major carrier. Liability insurance for the Tumbleweed is typically carried by the tow vehicle (and please verify with your tow vehicle insurer).

For the house itself, comprehensive and collision insurance also should be purchased. Comprehensive insurance covers damages through "acts of God" and theft. Collision coverage applies if someone or something hits your house, or if your untethered house hits something on its own.

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